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On Sept. 20, more than 60 clients of Vantreo Insurance Brokerage attended an empowering workshop called The Powerful, Productive and Profitable Workplace held at the Finley Community Center.  The workshop was geared towards developing a better understanding of how human resources is critical to a company’s growth and financial well being.  It was facilitated by Don Phin, a nationally recognized speaker, author and legal consultant. Mr. Phin is also the developer of the HR That Works Program.

Despite the key role that HR plays in the overall success of companies, many professionals agree that the field is often not recognized as being organizationally critical. In fact, human resources is far too often seen as a costly and tedious feature of the business landscape.  Or, as Mr. Phin stated, “HR is viewed as boring, it’s an expense and it’s a corporate wasteland.”

Those comments met with wry laughter and understanding from an audience largely comprised of business owners and HR professionals.  It quickly became clear to the workshop attendees that Mr. Phin would effectively challenge these types of preconceived notions, and force them to be reconsidered. In their place Mr. Phin would illustrate how a great HR program can provide every organization with tremendous financial opportunity, and delivered a series of core tools to help attendees improve their own departmental results.

In business, it is typically understood that the quality of a company’s employees will directly impact the overall success of the organization. As Mr. Phin expressed to the audience, “You have to hire great to be great.”  He likewise acknowledged that acquiring and retaining high performing employees is an ongoing challenge for most companies. According to Mr. Phin, HR is uniquely positioned to initiate and develop the type of powerful employment relationships that enable a company to become the employer of choice for those looking to be hired and current staff alike. 

To achieve these aims, Mr. Phin expressed the overall need for HR to develop a specific strategy with these end goals in mind.  While on the surface self-evident, he explained that such plans are often not utilized by companies.He went on to assert that without such a plan it is difficult to see how a company can ensure that it is both hiring the right people, and taking a measured approach towards the evaluation of current employees.

 To aid in plan development, attendees joined Mr. Phin in considering the characteristics of both “good” and “bad” employees.  Once a company has determined the specific qualities desired in an employee, it is empowered to both hire “best fit” staff and potentially end relationships with under-performing staff.  As Mr. Phin asked in reference to poor staff, “if they quit … would you be relieved?”  The underlying point to Mr. Phin’s question being that companies often wait far too long to “set free” under-productive and energy depleting staff.  Likewise, underdeveloped hiring practices often lead to the “wrong” people being added to the team.

Attendees were provided with a number of tools designed to help HR professionals further develop and strengthen their existing programs.  hese tools included an "HR Cost Calculator" that allows them to perform analysis of the company’s positive and negative costs associated with their program. Additional tools covered included an "Employee Compliance Survey and Pre-Termination Checklist."  Each tool Mr. Phin introduced focused on methods HR professionals can use to contribute to organizational profitability and or regulatory compliance.

Vantreo clients in attendance left energized knowing that they play a critical role in the overall success and profitability of their companies. Attendees also were able to return to their employers armed with tools which will allow them to accurately quantify their contributions to company’s bottom line. They also carried with them critical knowledge about the implementation of a robust HR program complete with an effective hiring process and a strategic employee relationship management strategy.  ...

David Weinstein is an assistant vice president at Vantreo Insurance Brokerage. He is a specialist in the area of workers’ compensation. He has managed CompZone, a division of Vantreo focused on reducing clients’ insurance premiums since 2003. He may be reached at 707-303-2544.